October 17, 2016
10 Creative Student Projects That Promote Deep Understanding
Getting students excited about learning is a monumental task that is a top priority for many teachers. This is something that can truly make a difference in how students learn for years to come, even after they are out of school. Getting knowledge to resonate within a child is one of the most important parts of deep understanding. There are many student projects out there that can aid in these types of lessons.
Here are 10 of the best projects for demonstrating understanding that students to try anytime. These activities will open you up to some creativity, new skills, and different teaching methods. These student projects are a lot of fun to boot!
1. Flat Stanley
This is an oldie but still a good project that truly gets kids excited about travel. They will rack their brains to figure out places to send Flat Stanley to get photographed. This teaches geography as well as unique places all over the world, depending on who they can get to photograph this little guy.
You can even do this virtually with a digital Flat Stanley. People they know (usually extended family members) can download him directly on their tablet or smartphone to have him instantly in their location.
2. Lego Learning
Many schools now have Lego Clubs that allow students to build with their classmates. You can take it a step forward by having them design and build real life structures or come up with their own. Be sure to make it a real project by having your budding architects draw their designs on paper before building.
3. Autobiography Book Projects
This is an old idea that is still fun for the kids. Have them pick an autobiography to read, and then dress up like that person. Go a step further by performing these characters on a special “Autobiography Night” at school. Each child will memorize a specific script they have written about their person to perform for their parents and guests. It allows them to remember much more about important historical figures.
4. The Hundred Project
For younger kids the concept of 100 is a big number to grasp. Make this a more tangible idea for kids by having them each bring in 100 of something. Some examples are marbles, jelly beans, pennies, or even something as simple as paper clips.
5. Rain Barrel Recycling
Here's a larger-scale project that shows the kids how water conservation works. They get to paint and design their own rain barrels to use throughout the year. Sometimes parents or local companies will provide the funds to purchase the rain barrels for the project. This also teaches civic responsibility to the kids.
6. The "Zoo You" Project
For animal lovers, this is a good project to learn about all different species. Have the kids draw or cut out different animal parts to make their own “animal being.”
7. Spur-of-the-Moment Stories
Give the kids a story line topic idea, and then go around the room to have them make up one sentence to the story. This is a good way to get them to work together, and listen to each other’s ideas to build a story in a fun way. This is still one of the best activities to help younger kids build both listening and critical thinking skills.
8. Floaty Boats
A science project that has also been done forever but still teaches a cool science lesson. Have the kids construct mini boats to hold an egg that won’t sink. It’s harder than they think! Testing out the boats can be done in class in a big water bucket or a mini kid's pool. You can even do it in an actual swimming pool if you have access to an indoor one.
9. Make Your Own Silly Putty
This is a chemistry project that is tons of stretchy fun. Who doesn't love Silly Putty? Learning the chemical makeup of this toy is one that students will remember forever.
10. Pilot Season Project
This is better for older kids in high school. Have them come up with their own ideas for half-hour or hour TV shows. An outline, script, and final project can be actually filming their idea to show the class. Want to throw in an extra shot of creativity they'll love? Have them design the promo poster, inspired with ideas used by their favourite shows.